Successful Online Communities Slf Sept 2007

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  • Overwrite the words with the presentation title, subtitle (if any), presenter’s name and date (if required). If you require any help with the use of this corporate PowerPoint then please contact Heidi Idle, Marketing Communications Manager.
  • Successful Online Communities Slf Sept 2007

    1. 1. How to Create Successful Online Communities Henriette Laidlaw Phil Galbraith
    2. 2. Online Community – a definition <ul><li>A virtual community , e-community or online community is a group of people that primarily interact via some form of mechanism such as letters, telephone, email or Usenet rather than face to face. If the mechanism is a computer network, it is called an online community. Virtual and online communities have also become a supplemental form of communication between people who know each other primarily in real life. A computer-mediated community (CMC) uses social software to regulate the activities of participants. Significant socio-technical change has resulted from the proliferation of Internet-based social networks. (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) </li></ul>
    3. 3. A Community of Practice <ul><li>A community of practice is defined as “groups of people informally bound together by shared expertise and passion for a joint enterprise” (Wenger & Snyder, 2000: 139). </li></ul>
    4. 4. <ul><li>We are in the business of improving the quality of education in Scottish schools by improving the quality of leadership in them </li></ul><ul><li>To change peoples’ practice requires deep learning based upon reflection on their part about the way they work at present </li></ul><ul><li>In turn online provision for this purpose requires software which engenders reflection </li></ul>The “Together” communities
    5. 5. Designing Online Communities of Practice for Success <ul><li>Invest in the means, not the end Ensure clear aims for the community Establish a captivating backstory </li></ul><ul><li>Focus relentlessly on the needs of the members Resist the temptation to control </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t assume the community will become self-sustaining. Seek out and support members who take on informal roles. Strive for “mass stickyness” in the form of the targeted “killer app”. </li></ul>Adapted from Scott Burkett, 2006 <ul><li>“ Collaboration” should be an over-arching theme. Supporting building social capital </li></ul><ul><li>Foster a sense of trust Mitigate security and privacy concerns. </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t be afraid to reinvent yourself from time to time Acknowledge what benefits the community. </li></ul>
    6. 6. 1. Invest in the means, not the end <ul><li>Focus on generating traffic and participation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Inductions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Special events </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bulletins </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>High level of facilitation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>High profile Hotseat guests </li></ul></ul>
    7. 7. 1. Ensure clear aims for the community <ul><li>Support the further development of the leadership skills of depute /headteachers </li></ul><ul><li>Enhance their day-to-day role by providing them with a mechanism for mutual support, the potential solution of problems and the sharing and creation of new ideas. </li></ul><ul><li>Create a one stop shop for access to resources which have been created/identified by deputes/heads themselves. </li></ul><ul><li>In doing so reduce the isolation of deputes/heads </li></ul><ul><li>Raise the awareness about the </li></ul><ul><li>potential role of ICT for management and </li></ul><ul><li>administration, learning and teaching. </li></ul>
    8. 8. 1. Establish a captivating “backstory” <ul><li>Sharing success stories </li></ul><ul><ul><li>During induction of new members </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In bulletins </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>At national events </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In the press </li></ul></ul>
    9. 9. 2. Focus relentlessly on the needs of the members <ul><li>Using head teachers as facilitators </li></ul><ul><li>Easy access to resources </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Learning applications </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Professional bodies </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Focus Groups </li></ul><ul><li>Feedback </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluations (Twice evaluated) </li></ul>
    10. 10. 2. Resist the temptation to control <ul><li>The members decide which topics to discuss </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitators can assist in presentation and linking but members control the agenda </li></ul><ul><li>If needed discuss with members to address online behaviour. </li></ul>
    11. 11. 3. Don’t assume the community will become self-sustaining. <ul><li>Facilitation </li></ul><ul><li>Advocates </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Within authorities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Within sectors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Incentives </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Refresher days </li></ul><ul><li>Continue to refresh the site </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on both long term and new users </li></ul>
    12. 12. 3. Strive for “mass stickyness” in the form of the targeted “killer app”. <ul><li>Cybrary </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Library of shared documents </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reduces work load for members instantly </li></ul></ul>
    13. 13. 4. “Collaboration” should be an over-arching theme. <ul><li>Encourage contributions </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage participation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cybrary </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Need help </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Facilitator contact </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Working groups </li></ul></ul>
    14. 14. Online Communities Activity <ul><li>Percentage wise, Wenger et al (1998) suggest that activity rates are as follows: </li></ul><ul><li>Core = 10-15% - participants who post, encourage activity, get involved often </li></ul><ul><li>Active = 15-20% - participants who are sometimes involved, ie commenting occasionally </li></ul><ul><li>Peripheral = 65-75% - people who read, sometimes known as &quot;lurkers&quot; – or readers </li></ul><ul><li>Jakob Nielsen (2006) suggests that &quot;User participation often more or less follows a 90-9-1 rule: </li></ul><ul><li>90% of users are “lurkers” (i.e., read or observe, but don't contribute). </li></ul><ul><li>9% of users contribute from time to time, but other priorities dominate their time. </li></ul><ul><li>1% of users participate a lot and account for most contributions: it can seem as if they don't have lives because they often post just minutes after whatever event they're commenting on occurs. “ </li></ul>
    15. 15. <ul><li>“ As a rule of thumb…in a month in a community of practice 10% of members visit, and 1.5% contribute” - </li></ul><ul><li>“ 70,000 heads are Better than One” NCSL 2005 </li></ul><ul><li>“ For every contribution made, 40 people are watching.” i.e. 2.5% of active members contribute </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluation Report of NCSL’s Online Communities” </li></ul>Activity Levels
    16. 18. Why does members contribute? <ul><li>Anticipated Reciprocity </li></ul><ul><li>Increased Recognition </li></ul><ul><li>Sense of efficacy </li></ul><ul><li>Communion </li></ul><ul><li>From Peter Kollock (1999) & Mark Smith (1992) </li></ul>
    17. 19. What about the “Lurkers” <ul><li>Reflecting </li></ul><ul><li>Apprentice to the profession </li></ul><ul><li>Sharing outside of the community </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage others to participate </li></ul>
    18. 20. Impact on Community <ul><li>Those who read but don't contribute are important, but without the active and core members, there's nothing to read! This really is a problem if your community is tending towards the 90-9-1 percent rule, rather than the 75-15-10 rule that Wenger predicts. </li></ul>
    19. 21. Change in member activity Helen Nicol, 2007
    20. 22. 4. Supporting building social capital <ul><li>Cognitive </li></ul><ul><li>Reflection of management issues facing educational leaders </li></ul><ul><li>Cross sector discussions </li></ul><ul><li>Understanding of common issues </li></ul><ul><li>Familiar taxonomy </li></ul><ul><li>Understand the context of shared resources </li></ul><ul><li>Lean the rules of the profession </li></ul>Structural Enables members to locate expertise within the community Leverage weak ties Access to experts Builds up a tacit knowledge base Exposure to new ideas Questions can be referred to an “expert” or a member in the “know” Brokering of connections Finding resources developed by other members Relational Coaching of new members, new to their professional role. Shared stories/experiences Trust Testing of new ideas Norm for helping Willingness to share Secure environment to express feelings Establish a positive reputation by assisting
    21. 23. 5. Foster a sense of trust. <ul><li>LTS </li></ul><ul><li>Restricted membership </li></ul><ul><li>Anonymous reports </li></ul><ul><li>At Induction </li></ul><ul><li>Continuous Checks of membership </li></ul><ul><li>Listen to members </li></ul>
    22. 24. 6. Don’t be afraid to reinvent yourself from time to time <ul><li>H2G has had three major overhauls in 4 years </li></ul><ul><li>Adapt to change (new forums) </li></ul><ul><li>Adapt to users requirements (new document types) </li></ul><ul><li>New functions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Search </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ I found this useful” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Acknowledging that people really need to focus on activity which improves practice within their particular domain if they are to function as a community of practice. </li></ul>
    23. 25. The Exchange Shared Discussion Professional Development A Curriculum for Excellence Cybrary Publications News Useful links Deputes Together Leadership and Management Additional Support Needs Early Years Primary Secondary Quality Assurance Raising Attainment Staff Room Heads Together Leadership and Management Additional Support Needs Early Years Primary Secondary Staff Room Access restricted to Deputes Access for Head Teachers and Deputes Access restricted to Head Teachers
    24. 29. <ul><ul><li>Hotseat guests in the shared area </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>David Cameron, Kenny Dalglish, Thomas Chalmers </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Over 450 already members registered in Deputes Together, in addition to 2250 in Heads Together </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1 000 visits to the Community each week </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>10 000 items viewed each week </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Plus online facilitation and support 24/7 </li></ul></ul>Access to ‘experts’ as well as your colleagues
    25. 31. Benefits of The ‘Together’ Communities* “ It can save you time It’s a valuable source of info & advice It provides a national perspective Its use contributes to CPD It is up to date & continually updated It is a valuable source of support” *Taken from Heads Together Evaluation 2006: George St Research
    26. 32. Thought I might have felt overwhelmed by the amount of information available, but it has actually helped me focus on the priorities in my school and my place in taking these forward. A great new resource. Nice to know that we do not have to continue reinventing the wheel and that an answer is just a click away. ) For me the most useful aspect of Heads Together is the constant collation of all the issues and links that are important to a Scottish headteacher is invaluable. Deputes Together can only be a good thing. We tend to work away in our own schools and discuss topics within the SMT, and this new forum allows us to have wider discussion. Views from other authorities are essential! It has opened a treasure box of resources, especially people! lots of new ideas now floating around my head to take back to school!

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